The Holidays 2018 {Journal Entry}

I hope my readers had a good holidays! Here's what we were up too....

We started baking the few days before. I love gifting my neighbors with small tins of baked goods. And slowly, Kaitlyn has taken over the baking and does most all of it now.

This was my contribution: Peanut Butter Cups.


The other fun baking that was done were these fun gingerbread houses we got in a kit.


On Christmas Eve, our son Jimmy came over. It was great to have all six of us under one roof.


That evening we did our annual appetizer night. I made tempura shrimp, potato skins, deviled eggs and egg rolls.

After dinner we watched Christmas Vacation, and then turned up the music and had an impromptu dance party.


Christmas Day we opened gifts - we don't make a big deal about this part of the holidays and the kids don't spend more than $5-10 on presents. We also give each child one gift and try to stay under $20.

Dinner was ham, with Japanese potato salad and french bean casserole.


After dinner our friends came over and we played games and ate snacks.

Speed Scrabble is a favorite.



The next day we were up and ready to head a couple of hours to the Bay Area. Both of our families live there so it makes it super convenient to head there for a couple of days and see everyone.

First up was my husband's side. We had a lovely lunch and then took a nice walk.



We opened gifts and then the inevitable started....the wrapping paper war.



We all take this quite seriously, and collect ammo as we open gifts.


Obachan (Japanese grandma), with seven of her ten grandkids, and the one great-grandchild.


The next day saw us at my side of the family. My parents made us a lovely breakfast.



We opened gifts and then went on a walk to a nearby park. The kids played football while the rest of us walked and talked.



Grandma and Grandpa with the grandkids.


After we left their home, we headed to the nearest Daiso shop.



Each year I let the kids pick out their rice bowl here.



We also get the fun drinks with the marble that's trapped inside.


We also saw a Philz Coffee and had to stop in to try it.


Oh my goodness, this was so flavorful.

We picked up a loaf of sourdough at Boudin and headed to the coast. We stopped at Barbara's Fishtrap at Pillar Point to get some clam chowder.


And found a nice spot to sit at.


Clam Chowder and sourdough bread hits the spot.


We headed north and stopped at one of my favorite spots on the coast, Montara State Beach.


Not crowded at all. You want to know why it wasn't crowded? Because even though there were clear blue skies, the breeze was blowing at about 30 mph, which made it super cold out there.


The waves were especially large today so we didn't even want the kids wading. We walked all they way down and saw the waves crashing on the rocks.


So cold, but oh so amazingly beautiful.


The kids found this rock and had fun scaling it.


And jumping off of it too.




Cartwheels on the beach.


We stayed to watch the sun set. My girlies.


And all four of them.


Breathtaking.



We stopped at the In-In-Out in Daly City for double doubles.


And then went up to Twin Peaks for a view of The City. It was still windy and so cold!


And then drove home. What a crazy, fun-packed two days!

The next day was pretty low key. That weekend though, we had our church's annual Christmas Party and White Elephant Exchange.



Lovely friends.


Lots of them. We have such an amazing church family that is encouraging and so good to be with.


The last part of our Holidays was our New Year's Eve Bash. Five families head up to our friend's home in the mountains for two days of fun.

Dinner the first night was wood fired pizzas.



Then the games started.



Good friends. These guys have grown up together and get along so well.


There was a nice fire outside with some good conversations happening.


We all brought fun drinks for the adults - my contribution was a lovely thing we tasted in Italy, a Spritz.



 More games.


It was almost midnight....



We all headed outside to ring in the New Year.



We made some noise.


Lots of noise.



Inside for more games.


Love these friends!


We all bring sleeping bags and have space for us all to sleep.

The next morning we got breakfast ready for 31 people. We all split the food prep so it is super easy.


Yum yum.



A few of us formed teams and played Pictionary.



A bunch of us are pretty competitive so these games can be intense.


 Later, one of the families brought some beer tasting.


 There were descriptions and food pairings too.


 I am not a beer person, but did taste a couple - one had hints of cinnamon and chocolate.



Dinner was different soups.


with a massive salad and bread.


 And it's crazy but we have actually been doing this for ten years now.

New Year's Day 2009


New Year's Day 2019



I really love these families that God has brought along side us!


And that was our photo-heavy, fun-filled holidays!


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